Yesterday, I told Melissa’s Aunt Marie (we call her Auntie Doodles) after a generous helping of Rhode Island pizzer strips that I was digging this late New England spring.
It made me appreciate the snow drops and crocuses finally poking up from the ground and the red buds peaking out on the trees.
A bluebird bounced by my basement office window while I was reading through a student’s thesis, and I almost got up and step-touched.
Then, last night Melissa informed me that the high today was going to be 32°F
That’s when I realized that I was officially out of weather-the-winter mode. My nerve endings are no longer willing to tolerate arctic temps after the official vernal equinox.
It was much like my October rage when temps topped 90° in Los Angeles but in reverse. I take that back. I’d rather put on a sweater than sweat, but still.
Railing against temperature realities initiated a cascade of psyche Rube Goldberg machines on standby that all clanged in unison, “haven’t we all had enough of all this? “
I’d offer you a list, but that’d drag this missive off in an unhelpfully kvetchy direction.
I bet you have a thing you thought was almost over, but then it was like, “Nope, staying.”
It’s achy, and no amount of Serenity Prayer repeats makes that change-longing stop squeezing your guts.
I mean, these are crazy times.
I understand that times have always been crazy; I just feels like so much more of the undersea lava has burst out, and we’re waiting for the next tsunami.
So, how do we fix it all?
Duh, sing some show tunes.
OK, there are myriad things that the singing of show tunes does not solve.
Theatre songs don’t house refugees, stop maniacal dictators, or cure COVID.
And I won’t even try to find a clever way to say that musicals deepen your empathy or fuel your activism or light a fire in you to advocate for the powerless.
You and I know there are plenty of assholes who get paid to sing a lot of theatre songs.
I’m in a much more hope-challenged place these days.
But I’m lucky because I get to help folks make musical stories almost every day.
I get to share the tears when a student starts to trust their voice.
I get to be in the room when that overwhelmed singer rubs their jaw a little bit to relieve some tension and then snots and cries out the log-jammed shenanigans from the last few weeks.
I get to see that aha!-pissed-off look when someone finally gets that tricky coordination that feels easier than it should.
And I get to remember every day how little I know.
People like you in the world—who want to make beauty, who want to connect the unconnected, who want to be brave enough to tell a story so that other people can live it with you and heal a little — tell me how that doesn’t make a difference.
It did for you. That’s why you’re doing it.
So keep with it, and stick to it.
I don’t know what any of this is going to look like this year or next year, but I know it’s gonna look a lot better if you’re singing and sharing your heart.
You know how I know?
There’s only one of you, and folks need to hear the story only you can sing.
ps in case you’re wondering what Rhode Island pizzer strips are, here’s a link that’ll tell you all about this culinary treat and one place you can get it (D. Palmieri’s in Johnston, Lil Rhody)
pps And mark your calendar for Saturday, April 9, 2pm, because that’s the part of your weekend getaway in Boston when you’ll come to Seully Hall at 8 Fenway for my Strauss and Sondheim recital.
Seriously, even if I go tone deaf just before the recital, you’re gonna wanna hear my collaborator Scott Nicholas play the piano. Angel choir-grade artistry.
Here’s a poster for you
I should have a live stream link for you next week, too. 💻